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Mississippi mothers to receive full year of postpartum Medicaid benefits starting July 1

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Postpartum Medicaid benefits for new mothers in Mississippi are anticipated to begin within the next few months following the passing of Senate Bill 2212 last week.

The bill, which extends postpartum Medicaid benefits across the Magnolia State from 60 days to a full year, is set to go into effect on July 1.

Prior to the bill’s passing, mothers throughout Mississippi had been granted 12 months of coverage through the COVID-19 public emergency, requiring all states and territories to continue to cover every person who has been eligible for Medicaid on or after March 18, 2020.

Now, three years after the pandemic, the federal government has called for the end of the COVID-19 health crisis, voting to enact the yearly application process for Medicaid eligibility renewals once again after April 1.

Following federal guidance, renewals for all current Medicaid members must be initiated within 12 months following April 1, and all renewals must be completed within 14 months. At this time, 15 million of the program’s 84 million enrollees across the U.S. are expected to lose coverage after the beginning of April.

According to Dr. Jennifer Bryan, Mississippi Delegation Chair for the American Medical Association, the 40 days between the COVID-19 public emergency deadline and the new bill going into effect could lead to numerous mothers only receiving 60 days of postpartum benefits.

“On May 11, when the protective health crisis ends as a country and July 1, when our postpartum eligibility extension goes into effect, that’s kind of the graze on,” Bryan explained. “I think the intent is to cover the women. I think that’s a space where if you have a baby on June 30 versus July 1, you’re looking at two months of postpartum coverage versus 12.”

Bryan says that Medicaid members should update their information now and begin the process of reapplying immediately after April 1.

“I think a lot of people were used to the eligibility coming up each year, but it’s been several years now,” Bryan said. “There are a lot of people who have never gone through the process before.”

Continue watching the full interview below.

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